Sunday, April 19, 2009

Longtime educators to retire at school's end

ROCK VALEY—After a combined 71 years of teaching, Dave and Susan Meylink are bidding adieu to the Rock Valley School District.

Although Dave now serves as the middle school and high school principal and Susan is a second-grade teacher at Rock Valley Elementary, both began with different roles in the school system.

As both grew up in Orange City, Dave and Susan hoped to find jobs in N'West Iowa.

Dave began his career at Rock Valley in 1973, serving his first 22 years as a junior high and high school biology and earth and life sciences teacher. Throughout those years, he also coached football, basketball, track and baseball at one point or another, until he became the junior high and high school principal in 1995.

Susan began her teaching career in LeMars and joined the Rock Valley school system in 1974 as a special education instructor. She started teaching second grade nine years later.

Both will retire from their duties at the end of this school year.

"It was really nice to be able to go out together," Dave said.

Although the Meylinks plan to stay in Rock Valley for now, being able to retire at the same time will be nice, especially since they plan to travel, among other activities that would require the couple to be together, including spending as much time in warm weather as possible.

"I also plan to spend more time with my parents and our grandchildren," Susan said.

While both will miss being with young people on a daily basis, Dave will also miss having something to do once he retires.

"I will really miss the people I work with," Dave said. "I have a great staff that has been so good over the years."

Nicole Salazar, who serves as a Spanish teacher at West Central Valley High School in Stuart, has been hired to replace Dave. A new second-grade teacher has not been hired yet.

So, what sort of advice do Dave and Susan have to offer to their successors?

"Take advantage of all the resources you have," Dave said.

Be that from the school secretaries or superintendent Dennis Mozer, whom Dave referred to as a "tremendous mentor," Dave said Salazar will be in he clear if she forms good relationships from the start.

"Of course, the staff will take care of her as long as she takes good care of them," he said.

Susan couldn't agree more.

"This is a very good school system," she said. "Whoever comes in will be very fortunate and will enjoy their job."

This article appeared in the April 18, 2009 edition of The N'West Iowa REIVEW.

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